History of Mountain View Lodge
- one of the original 18 Lodges that formed the Grand Lodge of Alberta in 1905
MOUNTAIN VIEW LODGE No. 16, G.R.A.
Formerly No. 85, G.R.M.
At the turn of the century, the area surrounding the town of Olds was quickly becoming one of the prime farming areas in the district. Several Masons gathered together to discuss the possibility of forming a Lodge. Seven local Masons, headed by Dr. A.M. Kay, visited Innisfail Lodge for the purpose of obtaining their approval to start a Lodge in their territory, and to prove that they were qualified to operate a Lodge. One more petition was forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Manitoba and, in due course, the dispensation was granted.
Mountain View Lodge was instituted on February 24, 1903 and the Charter was subsequently approved on June 19, 1904. The Lodge was then constituted on August 19, 1904. Once again a rural Lodge became a strong link in the Masonic chain that was being forged in Alberta.
Robert Logan, a hotel keeper, owned a store with a large room upstairs for holding dances and other social functions. This was rented to the new Masonic Lodge for their meeting place. Of interest is that Mr. Logan became a Mason in 1904. The building was sold shortly thereafter to Mr. W.M. Craig, and the building since then has been known as “Craig’s”.
The meeting place was soon changed to Duff’s Hall which was about three vacant lots south of Craig’s corner, above the hardware and lumber store of John Duff. The large upstairs room was converted by donated labor into reception and preparation rooms, and a Lodge Room with the East elevated. A deficiency with this hall was the poor approach to its entrance. The door was well back on the south side of Duff’s store and the narrow path between two buildings was generally muddy from the water dumped on it from the overhanging roofs when it rained.
Another interesting feature of this hall was the fire escape. It consisted of a lariat rope hanging from a window on the second level room.13
As visiting Masons were having considerable difficulty in making their way through the mud to find the entrance to the hall, a motion was passed to have a light put up to help the faithful on their way to Lodge.14
The Lodge at Olds was a “Moonlight” Lodge, with the meeting nights being: “on the Tuesday, on or before the full moon of each month.”
The meeting date was later changed to: “on the Friday as near the Full Moon as possible”.
In 1931 the meeting nights were changed to a fixed night, the first Monday of the month.
Mountain View Chapter No. 1, O.E.S. is the oldest active Eastern Star Chapter in Canada.
“On April 14, 1906, Dr. Kuhn (the Most Worthy Grand Patron), came to Olds to present a dispensation to the Chapter with 21 names as Charter members. The meetings were held upstairs over Duff’s Hardware store until February 1948 when the new Masonic Hall was built.”15
In 1927 a new hospital was being built in Olds and needed equipment. The Lodge supplied it with a washing machine and other general laundry equipment.
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Mountain View Lodge was instrumental in sending several rail carloads of vegetables to drought stricken Southern Alberta.
After several years of intensive fund saving, the Lodge was able to construct their own hall in 1947 using volunteer labour. The old upstairs meeting hall had a few drawbacks: the old wood stove, the rope hanging from the window serving as the fire escape, the problem of hauling water up stairs for coffee, and the lack of washrooms. The new hall was completed in 1948, and has been their home ever since.
In 1997 Bowden Lodge No. 42 was down in numbers and chose to become a part of Mountain View Lodge by amalgamation.
13 History of Olds and Area: Published by Olds History Committee, 1980, pp. 339, 340
14, 15 Ibid: p. 339,340